Albert Oehlen

Galerie Max Hetzler

The paintings in this exhibition don’t have titles, just small parenthetical indications that serve to identify them, such as “American flag,” “Lichtenstein,” “Weapon,” “Cross,” and “Street.” Not only do they offer disclaimers of classical techniques (for example, the flag painting alludes to Jasper Johns), they also stabilize the artist’s work. The path Albert Oehlen has taken is made up of countless salient advances, activities (including nonartistic ones), and revisions, which, almost imperceptibly, but more and more powerfully, have exposed one of today’s most convincing responses to the issues of painting.

The paintings reproduced in the catalogue were executed before those shown in the present exhibition. They consist of strange, untidily stylized letters forming words and sentences, painted on abstract or semiabstract canvases. The following sentence winds around an interior vault

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.